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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Tests, X-Rays & Imaging > Stress Test

Stress Test Cost

How Much Does a Stress Test Cost?

average costWith Health Insurance: $200-$400 Copayhigh costWithout Health Insurance: $1,000-$5,000+
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A stress test, often referred to as an exercise test or as an exercise electrocardiogram, is used to determine the amount of stress a patient's heart can handle. When a heart is at rest, blockages might be unrecognizable by an EKG test. But when a heart is working, it pumps harder making it easier to identify potential coronary artery blockages or heart problems. Generally, a stress test involves walking on a treadmill or bicycling on a stationary bike at increasing levels of difficulty to determine stress on the heart. While the test itself generally takes less than 15 minutes, expect the doctor's visit to be up to two hours total.

Typical costs:

  • There are typically two main costs associated with a stress test -- the cost of the test itself and the cost of analyzing the results.
  • Patients with medical insurance covering a portion of the cost of the stress test procedure can expect to pay $200-$400 total out of pocket, depending on a patient's copay responsibility. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care[1] , a Massachusetts based health care provider, charges its members $270-$379 for the test itself and an additional $24-$39 for an interpretation of the test.
  • Uninsured patients will likely pay $1,000-$5,000 for stress test and the analysis. A cardiovascular stress test costs about $3,800 on average nationally, according to[2] , but can get as high as $10,900. Prices range based on geographical location, with urban, metropolitan areas charging higher prices than rural areas.
Related articles: EKG, Heart Rate Monitor, Health Insurance

What should be included:
  • The most frequently used stress test in done on a treadmill. During a treadmill stress test, a patient will have electrodes placed on their chest. A preliminary EKG will be performed to determine electrical activity while the heart is at rest. The technician performing the test also is likely to take a patient's pulse. Then the patient will begin exercising, usually on a treadmill or stationary bicycle. Gradually the degree of difficulty will increase, forcing the heart to work harder. Generally, a patient will exercise until he or she feels exhausted. The technician will ask how the patient is feeling at regular intervals. After the test, the patient will likely continue to pedal or walk during a cool down period until their heart rate and blood pressure return to normal.
  • Patients that are physiologically prevented from exercising can have a drug-induced stress test performed. Typically a drug is given to the patient to make the heart believe it is exercising.
  • Some patients receive a nuclear stress test which involves injecting the patient with radioactive material to help create a better image of how the heart functions. A camera is used to view the patient's heart before and after exercise.
  • WebMD[3] provides information on various types of stress tests and what a patient can expect before, during and after the test.
  •, a website run by a Georgia-based cardiologist, explains what is involved in an isotope, or nuclear, stress test[4] , which involves having a nuclear isotope injected into a patient to help locate problem areas.
Additional costs:
  • Patients who have a drug-induced stress test might also be responsible for the cost of the medications, typically Dobutamine or Adenosine. Typically, patients are charges $50-$60 for radioactive materials.
  • Health insurance may cover some or all of the cost of the stress test. Typically, insurance carriers cover 80%-100% of the costs. Contact an insurance provider for coverage specifics.
  • Some physicians and hospitals offer discounts of up to 35% to patients who do not have health insurance. Washington Hospital Healthcare System[5] , located in California, offers a 35% discount for uninsured patients. The hospital also has a financial assistance program for qualifying uninsured patients.
Shopping for a stress test:
  • The American Heart Association[6] has tips for reducing stress and living healthy.
  • The Heart Rhythm Society provides a searchable directory[7] of cardiology professionals.
  • The American College of Cardiology offers an online locator of cardiology specialists.
  • Smart Heart Living, an informational website, offers tips on shopping for a cardiologist[8] .
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
nuclear stress test
Amount: $98.00
Posted by: James Cochran in waukegan, IL.Posted: January 6th, 2015 10:01AM
Physician: VAMedical Center: Lovell Regional VA Hospital
Great test. Took nearly three hours but worth it. Sure pays to be a veteran. Professional staff.
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Stress Test and Hospital Bill
Amount: $7,500.00
Posted by: Sal Easterley in SAINT LOUIS, MO.Posted: January 1st, 2015 08:01AM
Physician: BhandiwadMedical Center: Barnes-Jewish
I was told that my Coventry Insurance was in network at admittance for possible heart attack and found out it was not. Now I have a $9,000 bill ad $7800 is the stress test the MPI and the Eco. I am being told I needed those so the doctor ordered them. From now on I will ask what it costs before I get them?
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elecrocardiagram test United Healthcare copay
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Roger Thornhill in Cleveland, TN.Posted: December 24th, 2014 09:12AM
Physician: Heart institute of ChattanoogaMedical Center: doctor's office
I will never go back to a cardiologist. This is a racket. They should be made to carry tommyguns so we can recognize them. I was not consulted,they just rolled out this machine and in 2 minutes the 2500 dollar procedure was over. I'm tired of being caught in the middle of this doctor/hospital/insurance company war.
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Stress test/Echo cardiogram
Amount: $10,125.00
Posted by: Ronald Lohnes in Braselton, GA.Posted: November 26th, 2014 07:11AM
Physician: JosephMedical Center: North Ga. Medical Center
I am FURIOUS! The charges are beyond outrageous and the stressful part is getting the bill!!
I'm going to be out of pocket $2736.00, AFTER insurance.
It should be REQUIRED that you are told ahead of time what your charges will be...never have another one!!
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chemical stress test
Amount: $8,500.00
Posted by: June in Austin in Austin, TX.Posted: November 24th, 2014 10:11AM
Physician: Dr BloiseMedical Center: Austin Heart Hospital
Never would have taken this test if I had known how much it cost. Ridiculously HIGH! I don't even understand why??? I had a $3000.00 yearly copay.
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Stress Echocardiography Test
Amount: $312.00
Posted by: Gary R in Wheat Ridge, CO.Posted: October 26th, 2014 03:10PM
Physician: Dr. Kelly KimMedical Center: Exempla Lutheran-Rocky Mountain Cardiova
Required for my FAA 3rd class medical after my heart attack. Insurance won't cover costs for this reason, so the $312 is a self-pay rate. Very reasonable cost. Very professionally performed.
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Stress Test
Amount: $8,341.00
Posted by: Nana in Tyler, TX.Posted: October 22nd, 2014 02:10PM
Physician: Medical Center: Trinity Mother Francis
If you don't have heart problems you will when you get the bill.If my doctor would have told me the cost ahead of time, I would've never done it. I would've just waited to have a heart attack. No injections, wasn't there 1 hour. Ten mintues on treadmill with EKG and sonogram before and after. THIS IS WHY OUR HEALTH INSURANCE IS SO EXPENSIVE. It cost me the same to have gall bladder surgery.
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nuclear stress test
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Paul Pettengill in Kingsport, TN.Posted: October 5th, 2014 07:10PM
Physician: Medical Center: Holston Medical
Why can't it be required that Hospitals tell you UP Front what your costs will be for procedures. This is a ridiculous amount for someone that has BC/BS insurance. The Medical Professionals in our country are ripping us off.
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Exercise Stress test and Echo
Amount: $3,113.00
Posted by: joe72k in Hackettstown, NJ.Posted: October 1st, 2014 02:10PM
Physician: Dr OngMedical Center: Hackettstown Community Hospital
The hospital sent a bill of 7540.00 The insurance came back with the rate of 3445.78. My plan paid 332.78 and rest was on me 3113.00
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Stress Test
Amount: $1,400.00
Posted by: DBR in St. Louis, MO.Posted: August 18th, 2014 08:08PM
Physician: J. AveryMedical Center: Barnes-Jewish Hospital
Agreed to test only as precautionary and peace of mind. Dr. office called ahead to be sure insurance would cover, in-network, etc.... Bill for procedure: 1600.00 (I owed 500.00) then received a SEPARATE bill from the hospital with zero description- find out it's a 'Facility Fee' of 6700.00 (I owe 900.00). It cost me less $$ to have a baby. Absolutely absurd. Never again. Don't blame the doc- blame the hospital. Just plain crazy. Insurance says it is billed out-of-network... !?!?!?!?!!? Insurance says, "I hope it all works out for you." United Healthcare.
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Medicals in Canada
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Dan57 in Toronto, Other.Posted: May 21st, 2014 07:05PM
Physician: Medical Center: Canada
In Canada we basically pay $0 amount for every kind of a test, that's the reason we love this Country. We might have a bit of wait time if not emergency, but it's all worth it. All can afford the medical system as it's covered by the government. We love this Country. The Great Up North. Feel sorry for Americans, it's a nightmare. Sincere apologies to hear of all the stress and heartaches you citizens have to go through.
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Cardiovascular Study/Nuclear Medicine (Stress Test)
Amount: $12,902.91
Posted by: Fed Up in Sebastian, FL in Sebastian, FL.Posted: April 28th, 2014 06:04AM
Physician: EspatMedical Center: Sebastian River Medical Center
I was SHOCKED to say the least!! The day before my stress test was scheduled, the admitting office called me to collect $3000. for my out of pocket amount of this test. I was told the test would cost $26,763.56!! Even more shocking was that my insurance had APPROVED $21,410.84! As it turns out I was ONLY charged $12,902.91. REALLY!!
This is just WRONG any way you look at it. This is why our insurance premiums are so high!
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Stress Test with Nuclear injection
Amount: $9,167.00
Posted by: Nancy $$$ in Somerset, KY.Posted: March 4th, 2014 09:03AM
Physician: ThanolliMedical Center: Baptist Hospital
Just completed a stress test as recommended by my Dr. Thought I would have a heart attack when I seen the billing for this. Total was $ 9,167.00 ($ 6,868.00 for the first injection and 518.00 for the second, 638.00 for maybe 10 minutes on the treadmill!!!) Come on America something has got to be done to get all this under control. It's highway robbery with or without insurance and should not be allowed in this country. So sad for America. This was in February 2014 since I can't select the correct year below.
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Myocardial Perfusion Imaging
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Zegota in Spring Lake, MI.Posted: November 25th, 2013 04:11PM
Physician: Medical Center: Mercy/NOCH
I will post what the actual cost were, when I receive the statements, there will be at least two and maybe even three statements. There are separate costs from the Specialist for reviewing and reading the imaging of the heart. One for the use of the equipment (camera) and another one for the injection of Dobutamine to speed up the heart.
I am retired and on Medicare, with a good donut hole coverage under an employer coverage for retirees. I am as curious as you are, in fact right after I had the treatment, my letter came indicating approval from Medicare, guess I was lucky. I just want to encourage you, or your love one to have this test, if your physician recommends that you have one, it must be of a concern. For your family, for you, it is worth the cost and effort, if you are worried about the cost, shop around, but have the test performed. More later, if your interested on cost, I should know in at least a few weeks. God Bless and good luck, but have the test...please.
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stress test w/insurance
Amount: $370.00
Posted by: Now I'm Stressed! in Metairie, LA.Posted: October 15th, 2013 09:10AM
Physician: BourgeoisMedical Center: EJGH
The stress test was billed at $550.00, and BC/BS paid $179.37. I wish someone at the doctors office would have given me a heads up about this.
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Nuclear Stress Test
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Anne Massey in Metairie, LA.Posted: October 11th, 2013 11:10AM
Physician: Medical Center: East Jefferson Hospital
Just had the test done this morning. Peoples Health co-pay was $100. Took about 3 hours. Cardiologist co-pay was $20 for initial visit; probably the same for appointment to learn results, unless he calls by phone. All in all - a pleasant experience.
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Stress Echo Test Costly
Amount: $2,891.00
Posted by: a user in Highland Park, IL.Posted: May 21st, 2013 09:05AM
Physician: Medical Center: Highland Park Hospital
I want to see my physician for an annual physical check-up. The doctor suggested me to take a Stress Echo test when I told her that onetime I felt some level of discomfort on my chest a few month ago. Before making an appointment, I called the hospital and the insurance to get an estimate. But none of them was willing to provide me an estimate. The insurance told me to ask the hospital, while the hospital told me to ask insurance. Finally, I decided to take the test, even without an estimate.

The test involved the treadmill, EKG, and ultra sound imaging equipment. It took about an hour, included spending 20min waiting for the cardio doctor. In the end, the total cost of the is $2,891 ($1,240 for stress test, $1,651 for echo test). In addition to the test, another $513 for the service of cardio doctor. After the insurance, myself ended to pay $1,465.74 (test) + $252 (doctor). The cost is shocking. I would not recommend this test if you only feel minor discomfort once in a while
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Stress Test done at Atlanta Medical Ctr.
Amount: $21,594.09
Posted by: Can't afford to be sick, in Atlanta, GA in Atlanta, GA.Posted: May 1st, 2013 05:05PM
Physician: Dr. OwaldeMedical Center: Atlanta Medical Ctr.
Now the adjustments was $18,666.09. I paid in advance $1000.00 my insurance paid $789.00 and I now have a bill for an additional $1,138.69. I had surgery at a different hospital and it only cost 22,000.00. This was enough to cause stress! The stress test was required in order to have surgery.
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cardiac stress test
Amount: $370.00
Posted by: justme in Smyrna, TN.Posted: March 11th, 2013 05:03PM
Physician: Medical Center: Stoncrest Medical
Dr ordered a cardiac stress test to be performed at Stonecrest Medical in Smyrna,TN. When pre registration called to register me over the phone, they let me know it would be a payment of $370. up front. So why am I paying for health insurance??? I had to cancel the appointment, that is so wrong. No wonder people die from heart attacks in this day & time, they can't afford the test to get the proper treatment or medication. I will just take aspirin & drink pomegranate juice, & the insurance can just pay out the really big bucks if my heart fails.
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Standard Treadmill Stress Test
Amount: $2,008.00
Posted by: Bea in Novato, CA.Posted: March 5th, 2013 06:03PM
Physician: KeefeMedical Center: Marin General Hospital
Treadmill test 9 minutes. I was there for less than a half hour. Total cost: $5104.28 rnMy portion: $2,008.75 I am speechless.
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Stress test w/ insurance (1K deductible)
Amount: $963.17
Posted by: GL in Dover, OH.Posted: February 19th, 2013 11:02AM
Physician: Dr GrossMedical Center: Stark Medical Specialties
Just a standard stress test (I believe). I.V to inject the fluid, X-ray before the treadmill, EKG and treadmill, X-ray after the treadmill. The whole process took 3 hours. 600 for first Xray, 400 for second, 200 for EKG and treadmill. Aultcare insurance with 1K deductible. Aultcare covered 236.83 as "contractual adjustment" and because I haven't made a claim this year, I'm responsible for the 963.17 remaining.rnrnNOTE: I'm writing this after receiving my invoice and so-far this is the only thing that has posted on my Aultcare account. I have the suspicion that more will an X-ray analysis service.
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nuclear stress test
Amount: $8,617.00
Posted by: ed janosko in wilmington, NC.Posted: January 10th, 2013 02:01PM
Physician: HarperMedical Center: New hanover medical center
I am a physician and three years ago the cost was $2300
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est. cost
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: lcs in Gaffney, SC.Posted: October 18th, 2012 07:10AM
Physician: ShahMedical Center: UCMC Presbyterian affilate
Scheduled for a nuclear stress test estimated cost $4,400.36. this is to make sure a medicine to control heart rhythm is safe for me to take. Doc says VERY SLIGHT CHANCE it could cause problems. After insurance, will still probably cost me more than $1,000. Just to walk on treadmill and have a little something injected? C'mon man
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stress test costs w/ insurance
Amount: $755.00
Posted by: wch in charlotte, NC.Posted: October 5th, 2012 10:10AM
Physician: Dr FalweeMedical Center: presbyterian hosp.
will not take the test because of the cost associated with the test. they are out of their mines... these costs are so high because of the 47% that Mitt Romney spoke of...say goodbye to AMERICA as we knew it..........
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Talk about Stress Test! The cost is the stressful part!
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Ellon Bethea in Concord, NC.Posted: June 12th, 2012 09:06AM
Physician: Dr. S. RevisMedical Center: CMC - Northeast Medical Center
Had my physical in May 2012...for insurance purposes. Dr. wanted me to have a stress test because of family history. Dr's office scheduled it for me in May 2012. Received the bill last week. The hospital charged over $3,400 for the test. Insurance (BC/BS) only paid part; we're responsible for nearly $2,000.00!!! Talk about stress!!! I didn't even want this test! To top it off, they said I didn't reach my target heart rate, so my test was undiagnostic and inconclusive! I was only in there for about 15 mins! I barely broke a sweat on the treadmill! We have two children in college! They should have told us upfront what our estimated cost would be out of pocket; I wouldn't have had the test. My physical was fine...they even did an EKG in the office and it was fine. Hard lesson to learn for us! Our son had to have an emergency appendectomy in Orlando, Florida in Dec. 2011....this 15 minute stress test cost us twice as much as his emergency surgery and hospital stay!!!
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Stress Test
Amount: $840.00
Posted by: Sherryle Satterly in madison, KY.Posted: February 21st, 2012 12:02PM
Physician: Medical Center: madison ky.
insured and still 530.00at the door, or 840.00 in payments. So we turned it down, was to much for our pocket.Modern Times in the u.s.a.
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Cardiac Stress Test
Amount: $466.00
Posted by: Aging Athlete in San Mateo, CA.Posted: December 26th, 2011 12:12PM
Physician: Jeffrey Guttas, MDMedical Center: Mills Peninsula Hospital
My PCP ordered a both a cardiac stress test and echocardiogram. The full "retail" price for the stress test was $621; the Anthem Blue Cross (ABC) allowable price was $466. The full "retail price" for the physicians fees for both tests was $608; the ABC allowable price was $255.
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